The world of fashion and advertising is a multi faceted billion dollar business that many aspire to be apart of. It is a prestige land where only the best of the best are lucky enough to call themselves alumni. How does one gain entry when they are on the outside looking in?
Alexi Lubomirski interviews Milk Studio’s own Mazdack Rassi who rehashes the creation of Milk and offers advice for you creatives. Milk originally opened its doors as a full service studio based around the idea of hotel management and is now comprised of ten divisions between LA and NYC. It is a community based on ideas and is centered around the young creative types. Milk Made has launched some of the most in demand and commanders of fashion such as Alexander Wang.
New York sets a standard of never settling and always striving to do the best work possible, even in an entry level internship. Rassi discusses the importance of apprenticing one’s way to the top and the responsibility of working in NYC. It is intense and can chew you up, but if you can ride it out it is an incredible experience. Realize the opportunity to have the best job in the world and enjoy what you do. He defines success as feeling like he has not had to go to work once during the past twenty years.
“Go to school to learn structure and then you should get out in the real world as fast as possible. You’ll never learn how to deal with a client in school.”
Photographers who pay their dues and work their way to the top by assisting working photographers gain an innate understanding of how the industry works. Rassi suggests that knocking on the doors of photography studios is another great way to gain experience. Assisting is education that extends beyond the classroom, learning the how to’s of high end productions while working with very influential people in the industry.
Photographers who pay their dues have the most longevity, according to Rassi, and are the seasoned pros that clients like and want to invest an exorbitant amount of money in for their campaigns. Assisting and mentorships provide first hand knowledge of how the industry works that cannot be learned in school. These photographers know how to put out a fire when problems arise on set.
“That’s what people don’t understand – it’s years of experience that you can put a flame out… You’re not a pro yet. That’s a word you have to aspire to. You have to put hours of work in – years.”
– Mazdack Rassi
Becoming a top fashion photographer in today’s world really is a one in a million job and few are lucky to achieve it. There are so many other facets of the industry such as art directing, producing, assisting, set building and videography. The ability to adapt as the market shifts in correlation with the demands of social media will ensure a long career in this realm.
The following candid interview is a great watch and is packed with priceless insight from someone who has worked in the industry for over 20 years. You can also subscribe to Alexi’s YouTube Channel here.